Faculty Profile

Dr. Aristea S. Galanopoulou, M.D.,  Ph.D.

Aristea S. Galanopoulou, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology (Child Neurology)

Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Areas of Research: Role of GABAA signaling and the mTOR pathway in epileptogenesis and brain development; early life seizures; infantile spasms; preclinical therapy discovery for epilepsy; post-traumatic epilepsy; Rett syndrome

Professional Interests







The maturation of GABAA receptor-mediated signaling from depolarizing to inhibitory is an age-related process controlled by cation chloride cotransporters, such as KCC2. As a result, GABA exerts dual functions, being an important neurotrophic factor during early development and the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter of the mature central nervous system. In our laboratory we have been investigating the age and gender specific mechanisms through which early life stressors and seizures may disrupt the normal patterns of brain development, by disrupting the neurotrophic effects of GABA. We are also studying methods to reverse these adverse processes. Furthermore, we are very interested in understanding how epileptogenesis proceeds in the developing brain and what is the specific role of GABAA receptors in this process.

To better understand the pathophysiology and design better methods to treat catastrophic early life epilepsies, we are developing and studying new models of early life epilepsy. These include models of symptomatic infantile spasms that recapitulate most of the features of the human condition. Several projects are under way to (a) elucidate the pathophysiology of infantile spasms, and (b) conduct preclinical trials to find better treatments for spasms and the associated comorbidities. Our studies have provided preclinical evidence for new potential treatments with disease modifying properties for these early life epileptic encephalopathies, such as mTOR inhibitor, carisbamate and a new vigabatrin analog.

Post-traumatic epilepsy is a common consequence of traumatic brain injury leading to high morbidity and morbidity. Our lab is participating in an international multicenter preclinical consortium, leading efforts to develop better therapies for post-traumatic epilepsy. We use a rodent model of traumatic brain injury to identify targets and test for better therapies, through a combination of expression studies, in vivo behavioral and electrophysiologic monitoring and therapy screening to identify antiepileptogenic compounds.

Rett syndrome is one of the major causes of mental retardation and epilepsy. Most of these patients have mutations in the MeCP2 gene and also manifest abnormal stereotypic movements and autonomic dysfunction. Despite the devastating course of the disease, two independent laboratories have recently demonstrated that, in mice, phenotypic reversal can be achieved by restoring the normal function of MeCP2. We are using a mouse model of Rett syndrome to determine how pathogenic mutations of MeCP2  may interfere with the function and physiology of structures involved in the control of motor system and seizures, like the substantia nigra and how these processes may be reversed by appropriate therapeutic interventions.

Students interested in these projects will gain exposure to a variety of in vivo and in vitro techniques that combine molecular biology, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, histological, and behavioral studies and will be involved in projects with direct translational relevance to the clinical practice, i.e. identification of novel therapies. 


Selected Publications

Barker-Haliski ML, Loscher W, White HS, Galanopoulou AS. Neuroinflammation in epileptogenesis: Insights and translational perspectives from new models of epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2017;58 Suppl 3:39-47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28675559

Galanopoulou AS, Mowrey WB. Not all that glitters is gold: A guide to critical appraisal of animal drug trials in epilepsy. Epilepsia Open. 2016;1:86-101. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28497130

Galanopoulou AS, Mowrey WB, Liu W, Li Q, Shandra O, Moshe SL. Preclinical Screening for Treatments for Infantile Spasms in the Multiple Hit Rat Model of Infantile Spasms: An Update. Neurochem Res. 2017;42:1949-61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28462453

Shandra O, Moshe SL, Galanopoulou AS. Inflammation in Epileptic Encephalopathies. Adv Protein Chem Struct Biol. 2017;108:59-84. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28427564

Nariai H, Beal J, Galanopoulou AS, Mowrey WB, Bickel S, Sogawa Y, Jehle R, Shinnar S, Moshe SL. Scalp EEG Ictal gamma and beta activity during infantile spasms: Evidence of focality. Epilepsia. 2017;58:882-92. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28397999

Ravizza T, Onat FY, Brooks-Kayal AR, Depaulis A, Galanopoulou AS, Mazarati A, Numis AL, Sankar R, Friedman A. WONOEP appraisal: Biomarkers of epilepsy-associated comorbidities. Epilepsia. 2017;58:331-42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28035782

Moshe SL, Galanopoulou AS. Searching for the mechanisms of consciousness in epilepsy. Lancet Neurol. 2016;15:1298-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27839635

Khrapunov S, Tao Y, Cheng H, Padlan C, Harris R, Galanopoulou AS, Greally JM, Girvin ME, Brenowitz M. MeCP2 Binding Cooperativity Inhibits DNA Modification-Specific Recognition. Biochemistry. 2016;55:4275-85. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27420643

Djukic A, Holtzer R, Shinnar S, Muzumdar H, Rose SA, Mowrey W, Galanopoulou AS, Shinnar R, Jankowski JJ, Feldman JF, Pillai S, Moshe SL. Pharmacologic Treatment of Rett Syndrome With Glatiramer Acetate. Pediatr Neurol. 2016;61:51-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27363291

Galanopoulou AS, Wong M, Binder D, Hartman AL, Powell EM, Roopra A, Staba R, Vezzani A, Fureman B, Dingledine R, American Epilepsy Society /National Institute of Neurological D, Stroke Epilepsy Benchmarks S. 2014 Epilepsy Benchmarks Area II: Prevent Epilepsy and Its Progression. Epilepsy Curr. 2016;16:187-91. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27330451

Sanchez Fernandez I, Loddenkemper T, Galanopoulou AS, Moshe SL. Should epileptiform discharges be treated? Epilepsia. 2015;56:1492-504. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26293670

Galanopoulou AS and Moshé SL. Pathogenesis and new candidate treatments for infantile spasms and early life epileptic encephalopathies: a view from preclinical studies. Neurobiology of Disease (2015): Neurobiol Dis. 2015 Jul;79:135-49. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25968935

Galanopoulou AS, Moshe SL. Neonatal and Infantile Epilepsy: Acquired and Genetic Models. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2015;6:a022707. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26637437

Galanopoulou AS. The Perimenstrual Delta Force: a Trojan Horse for Neurosteroid effects. Epilepsy Currents (2015) 15(2): 80-82. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26251647

Akman O, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS. Early life status epilepticus and stress have distinct and sex-specific effects on learning, subsequent seizure outcomes, including anticonvulsant response to phenobarbital. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics (2015) 21(2):181-92. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25311088

Chudomel O, Hasson H, Bojar M, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS.  Age- and sex-related characteristics of tonic GABA currents in the rat substantia nigra pars reticulata. Neurochemical Research (2015) 40: 747-757. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25645446

Galanopoulou AS and Moshé SL. Does epilepsy cause a reversion to immature function? Adv Exp Med Biol. (2014); 813:195-209. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25012378

Galanopoulou AS. Sex and epileptogenesis, introduction to the special issue Neurobiol Dis 72 Pt B: 123-124. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25218572

Akman O, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS. Early life status epilepticus and stress have distinct and sex-specific effects on learning, subsequent seizure outcomes, including anticonvulsant response to phenobarbital. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics (2015) 21(2):181-92. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25311088

Chudomel O, Hasson H, Bojar M, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS.  Age- and sex-related characteristics of tonic GABA currents in the rat substantia nigra pars reticulata. Neurochemical Research (2015) 40: 747-757. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25645446

Akman O, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS. Sex-specific consequences of early life seizures. Neurobiol Dis. (2014) 72 Pt B: 153-166 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24874547

Giorgi FS, Galanopoulou AS, Moshé SL. Sex dimorphism in seizure-controlling networks. Neurobiol Dis. 72 Pt B: 144-152. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24851800

Pardo CA, Nabbout R, Galanopoulou AS. Mechanisms of epileptogenesis in pediatric epileptic syndromes: Rasmussen encephalitis, infantile spasms, and febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES). Neurotherapeutics (2014) 11(2):297-310. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24639375

Briggs SW, Mowrey W, Hall CB, Galanopoulou AS. CPP-115, a vigabatrin analogue, decreases spasms in the multiple-hit rat model of infantile spasms. Epilepsia (2014) 55(1):94-102. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24321005

Jequier Gygax M, Klein BD, White HS, Kim M, Galanopoulou AS. Efficacy and tolerability of the galanin analog NAX 5055 in the multiple-hit rat model of symptomatic infantile spasms. Epilepsy Res (2014) 108: 98-108.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24252685

Simonato M., Brooks-Kayal AR, Engel JJr, Galanopoulou AS, O’Brien TJ, Pitkanen A, Wilcox K, French JA. The challenge and promise of preclinical therapy development for epilepsy. Lancet Neurology (2014): 13(9):949-60. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25127174

Brooks-Kayal AR, Bath KG, Berg AT, Galanopoulou AS,Holmes GL, Jensen FE, Kanner AM, O'Brien TJ, Whittemore VH, Winawer MR, Patel M, Scharfman HE. Issues related to symptomatic and disease-modifying treatments affecting cognitive and neuropsychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy. Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl 4): 44-60. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909853

Pitkänen A, Nehlig A, Brooks-Kayal AR, Dudek FE, Friedman D, Galanopoulou AS, Jensen FE, Kaminski RM, Kapur J, Klitgaard H, Löscher W, Mody I, Schmidt D. Issues related to development of antiepileptogenic therapies. Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl 4): 35-43. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909852

Galanopoulou AS, Kokaia M, Loeb JA, Nehlig A, Pitkänen A, Rogawski MA, Staley KJ, Whittemore VH,  Dudek FE. Epilepsy therapy development: technical and methodologic issues in studies with animal models. Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl 4): 13-23.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909850

Galanopoulou AS, Simonato M, French JA, O'Brien TJ. Joint AES/ILAE translational workshop to optimize preclinical epilepsy research. Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl 4) : 1-2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909848

Galanopoulou AS. Basic mechanisms of catastrophic epilepsy - Overview from animal models. Brain & Development 2013 (in press). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23312951

Galanopoulou AS, Simonato M, French JA, O’Brien TJ. “Joint AES / ILAE Translational Workshop to Optimize Preclinical Epilepsy Research”. Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl. 4): 1-2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909848

Galanopoulou AS, Kokaia M, Loeb JA, Nehlig A, Pitkanen A, Rogawski MA, Staley KJ, Whittemore VH, Dudek EF. “Epilepsy therapy development: technical and methodological issues in studies with animal models.”  Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl. 4): 13-23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909850

Brooks-Kayal A, Bath KG, Berg AT, Galanopoulou AS, Holmes GL, Jensen FE, Kanner AM, O’Brien TJ, Whittemore VH, Winawer MR, Patel M, Scharfman HE. “Issues related to symptomatic and disease modifying treatments affecting cognitive and neuropsychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy.” Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl. 4): 44-60. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909853

Pitkanen A, Nehlig A, Brooks-Kayal A, Dudek FE, Friedman D, Galanopoulou AS, Jensen FE, Kaminski RM, Kapur J, Klitgaard H, Löscher W, Mody I, Schmidt D. “Issues related to development of antiepileptogenic therapies.” Epilepsia (2013) 54 (Suppl. 4): 35-43. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909852

Simonato M, French JA, Galanopoulou AS, O’Brien TJ: “Issues for new antiepilepsy drug development” (2013) Curr Opin Neurol 26: 195-200. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23406913

Galanopoulou AS, Gorter JA, Cepeda C; Finding a better drug for epilepsy: the mTOR pathway as an antiepileptogenic target. Epilepsia 2012; 53(7): 1119-30.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22578218

Galanopoulou AS, Buckmaster PS, Staley KJ, Moshé SL, Perucca E, Engel J Jr, Löscher W, Noebels JL, Pitkänen A, Stables J, White HS, O'Brien TJ, Simonato M; American Epilepsy Society Basic Science Committee And The International League Against Epilepsy Working Group On Recommendations For Preclinical Epilepsy Drug Discovery: Identification of new epilepsy treatments: issues in preclinical methodology. Epilepsia 2012; 53(3): 571-82.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22292566

Galanopoulou AS, Moshé SL (2011). In search of biomarkers in the immature brain: goals, challenges, strategies. Future Medicine 5(5): 615-628. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22003910

Ono T, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS.: Carisbamate acutely suppresses spasms in a rat model of symptomatic infantile spasms. Epilepsia 2011; 52(9): 1678-84.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21770922

Briggs SW, Galanopoulou AS: “Altered GABA signaling in early life epilepsies” Neural Plasticity 2011: 527605 (2011).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21826277

Raffo E, Coppola A, Ono T, Briggs SW, Galanopoulou AS: A pulse rapamycin therapy for infantile spasms and associated cognitive decline. Neurobiol. Dis. 2011; 43(2): 322-9.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21504792

Chudomelova L., Scantlebury MH, Raffo E, Coppola A, Betancourth D, Galanopoulou AS. Modeling new therapies for infantile spasms. Epilepsia: 2010; 51(Suppl. 3):27-33.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20618396

Galanopoulou AS: “Mutations affecting GABAergic signaling in seizures and epilepsy”: Pflugers Arch 460(2): 505-23: (2010).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20352446

Chudomel O, Herman H, Nair K, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS. Age- and gender-related differences in GABA(A) receptor-mediated postsynaptic currents in GABAergic neurons of the substantia nigra reticulata in the rat. Neuroscience: 2009; 163(1): 155-67.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19531372

Galanopoulou AS. Dissociated gender-specific effects of recurrent seizures on GABA signaling in CA1 pyramidal neurons: role of GABAA receptors. J Neurosci. 2008; vol 28 (7): 1557-67.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18272677

Galanopoulou AS: Sexually Dimorphic expression of KCC2 and GABA function. Epilepsy Res. 2008; 80(2-3):99-113.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18524541

Galanopoulou AS. Sex and cell type specific patterns of GABA(A) receptor and estradiol mediated signaling in the immature rat substantia nigra. Eur J Neurosci 23(9):2423-30 (2006).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16706849

Kyrozis, A, Chudomel, O, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS. Sex-dependent maturation of GABA(A) receptor mediated synaptic events in rat substantia nigra reticulata. Neurosci Lett 398(1-2):1-5 (2006).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16540244

Galanopoulou AS, Kyrozis A, Claudio OI, Stanton PK, Moshé SL (2003). “Sex-specific KCC2 expression and GABAA receptor function in rat substantia nigra” Exp Neurol, 183: 628-637, (2003).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14552904

Galanopoulou AS, Moshé SL: “Role of sex hormones in the sexually dimorphic expression of KCC2 in rat substantia nigra” Exp Neurol, 184(2): 1003-1009, (2003).  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14769394

More Information About Dr. Aristea Galanopoulou

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